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Revelation - Philadelphia

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Introduction to the Church/City

Philadelphia was 35 miles Southeast of Sardis.
It lay on a major trade route, as well as on a major Roman postal route, which made it an ideal location for commerce.
Philadelphia was known as “the gateway to the east.”
The one problem with the city’s location is that it was prone to earthquakes.

The Text

As in every letter, Jesus’ words are sent to the guardian angel of the church.
Note: Philadelphia and Smyrna are the only two churches to receive no rebuke from Jesus, but are both ironically under severe threat from a powerful Jewish presence.
See how this reflects how Jesus has named and describes himself. It fits their situation, informing them of what they need to know about the Savior in their time of need. (v. 7)
Jesus knows that they are troubled and trying to survive, and he does not add correction to their persecution.
But rather, they need to know that despite their persecution, Christ is in control.
Let us also note: Persecution not only requires patient endurance, but teaches it (; James 1:2-3).
Jesus makes clear the side He is on. He is FOR them, and opposes the “synagogue of Satan.”

Challenge to be Faithful

Jesus makes a promise before He gives them the conditions:
The tables will turn. The Lord promises to make those oppressing his children bow down before them.
Then He makes promises on the condition that they are faithful.
They will not go through the trial that will come on the whole world.
Their trouble will not last forever. “I am coming soon.”
The Lord has a crown for them.
He will make them pillar in God’s temple. This is metaphorical, providing the notion of security and permanence.
He says that he will write on him God’s name, the name of the new Jerusalem, and Jesus’ own new name. All of these indicate ownership and citizenship.
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